Your IT service management tool does a lot of things well. It helps you stay organized, document your work and fix problems. The question is: How well does your tool do all of these things, and could they be accomplished more efficiently? And more importantly, is it slowing down your IT organization? There are five ways, in particular, that ITSM tools cause slowdowns that frustrate IT teams, hinder productivity and hurt companies’ bottom lines. IT teams need to embrace the latest generation ITSM software that offers flexibility and enables agility, rather than the following roadblocks:
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1. Your ITSM Tool is Difficult to Upgrade
Does the following situation sound familiar? You buy version 5 of a piece of software, you configure it so it works well for your team, then version 6 comes out. Do you upgrade to version 6 and lose your changes to version 5? Or, worse, maybe you don’t upgrade because you know you’ll lose all of the customizations that are working well for you right now. Either way, you’re not taking advantage of the latest features and functions because your software isn’t flexible enough to seamlessly upgrade from one version to the next. If you are looking for a new ITSM solution, be sure to find one that provides the flexibility to configure and customize without compromise without an impact on forward compatibility. There is no value in building a solution for today that won’t work tomorrow.
2. Your ITSM Software is Not Current (or Flexible) on Industry Best Practices
Industry best practices matter to top performing IT teams. But many ITSM tools don’t ship with out-of-the-box best practices for ITIL, the most widely-adopted set of standards that govern the service desk. You have to design those within the tool itself. Or, maybe your tool came with best practices installed. Great! But, what if those best practices aren’t “best” for your organization and need modification? What if your new CIO wants to follow a more agile framework?” How flexible is your tool? Can you easily make adjustments? Once again, if you’re struggling with inflexible software, you are taking time away from higher value activities. Your ITSM solution should allow you to modify the industry best practices that ship out of the box, as it’s very likely your organization has unique requirements in specific areas. For example, if you would like to add additional mandatory approvers to emergency changes, you shouldn’t need to call on professional services or a partner to make that a reality with your tool.
3. Your ITSM Tool Doesn’t Integrate with Other Software Tools
Many times your ITSM software doesn’t play nice with other tools. That’s frustrating because data you need is located somewhere else, and getting it out can be a pain. For example, the service desk team has an ITSM tool and the desktop team has a tool that manages the PCs and client devices that the business customers use to consume those services. Sure, your ITSM tool can track the life cycle of incidents and service requests, but wouldn’t it be great to have the PC hardware specs handy when you open that incident record? Knowing the OS build, warranty information and configuration helps the service desk provide better support. Plus, bi-directional integration means that the desktop group can get a sense of which devices are causing the most trouble. You need ITSM software that easily integrates with other tools so your team doesn’t get slowed down by unnecessary information gaps. Look for a tool with API capabilities or out-of-the-box integrations with key products you have running in your IT environment such as remote control, endpoint management, asset management or business intelligence tools.
4. Your ITSM Solution Won’t Extend into Other Business Departments
The point of software is to make people’s lives easier by automating repetitive tasks, organizing information and generally getting work done better and faster. Which department at your company wouldn’t benefit from all of that help? A few IT service management tools lend themselves well to business areas beyond IT. Beginning with a self-service portal and forms to provide inputs, these ITSM tools can capture the basic nature of a request and direct it to the proper individuals within the organization who can fulfill it, automating workflows that are frequently managed using email and spreadsheets. Using this model, HR departments track candidates more thoroughly. Facilities departments can be alerted to issues and address them more quickly. Legal departments can build responsive and dynamic queues for contract reviews. Processes that used to be managed with spreadsheets and email can now be managed via workflow automation. Your ITSM tool should do this without requiring skilled resources and additional fixed licenses, and provide reassurance that what is built won’t be wiped away in the next upgrade.
5. Your ITSM Tool Vendor Isn’t Innovating Fast Enough
You should be able to build extensions and improvements to a tool without disturbing the core software. Just like the Google Play store is full of apps that Android users can download to their phones, IT professionals should be able to build useful apps on top of their ITSM platform. Imagine a world where the apps they build could be shared in a marketplace like iTunes, for example, so that all IT teams could benefit from new solutions built by their peers. Having that level of flexibility and the opportunity for creativity can transform the efficiency of IT teams.
Tweet this: How to determine if your ITSM tool vendor isn’t innovating fast enough
As you evaluate ITSM solutions, seek to understand how the vendors plan to add new capabilities, as well as their track records of adhering to their product roadmaps. Vendor roadmaps and customer requirements aren’t always aligned, which means customer are often at the mercy of a vendor’s vision versus their ability to execute.
The Need for Flexible ITSM Software
Based upon the list above, the inability for ITSM tools to support changes or upgrades creates the greatest inefficiencies. But a new era has emerged where ITSM software can serve as a platform for a marketplace of extensions, apps, and user-generated improvements that can be shared to optimize efficiency among IT teams of all sizes. Flexibility is the essential ingredient for speed, flexibility and cost control.
To get a solid understanding of the competitive landscape of ITSM software vendors, and evaluate their individual strengths and weaknesses, be sure to download Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management tools.